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OCD Book Review by Amanda Harris
on April 11, 2006
I've never really knew the meaning of OCD, but the novelist Terrer Spencer Hesser mad me feel as though I were in the body of a girl named Tara. She was different from all her friends in that she was a chronic worrier who was obsessive in her behavior. The story shows her family and friends dealing and reacting to her disease and is told by the main character, Tara from her point of view.
Tara's personality is the reason I loved this book, because her emotion and thoughts are so realistic and clear. She doesn't only make me envision what is going on in the story, but she makes me feel the emotions that are stirring through her. There is more depth to the story than her mental disorder and Tara does not leave any details out.
Tara has to count the cracks in the sidewalk after hearing a child say: " Step on crack. Break your mother's back." She is driven to repeat the Hail Mary everytime she hears a cuss word, and has to touch the doorknob and push her fingers to her lips thirty-three times before she can leave the house. These strange rituals are just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what other strange rituals can happen in Kissing Doorknobs.
Although Tara has her problems and knows that they are extreme, she is close to her younger sister and three young friends. The sister is her protector and gets into trouble fighting kids who pick on Tara. The friends are: Kristin, Keesha, and Anna. Kristin is the skinny, pretty girl who is trying to be model; Keesha is the black friend with a big mouth and proud of it; and Anna is the jock of the group who is good at everything.
The other major characters in the story are the mother and father. The father stays in the background, but the mother loses her patience with Tara's rituals and begins to go insane because of Tara. Her mother thought slapping Tara would be effective, therapeutic measure to alleviate those strange habits. Both parents taker her therapists but all come up with the same diagnosis.
The climax in the story comes when one of the father's friends, Sam, comes to the house and noticed Tara's ritual and figures out Tara's condition. He concludes that she has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and knows just the therapist to contact. Susan, the therapist, had been Sam's therapist and starts the same series of procedures with Tara as she did with Sam. Later on Tara begins to have a crush on Sam, but soon this leads to a relapse for Sam's OCD near the end of the book.
Even though this story isn't true, you get the idea and visualization of what people with OCD go through everyday and how it is a struggle to break these rituals. Ina world like today's, it should be easy to cure OCD but it isn't. If you want to know what happened to Tara in a few years after starting the OCD process, you'll have to read this enchanting book, Kissing Doorknobs, you won't regret it.